Kid Safe Recipe: No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Cookies Full of Chocolate - Yum!
Good for Children Ages 2 to 8
This is a yummy cookie which does not require an oven, but does require boiling of a portion of the ingredients. Therefore, a responsible adult must be involved in the creation. As if you would want it any other way – this is fun! So, grandmas, parents, and caregivers, pull out your aprons and let's go.
I have made this in a childcare center with mixed groups of kindergartners through third graders. I have also made it at home with preschoolers. It is a marvelous way for children to see how food is made and to hear mathematical words such as “one half, “ “two,” “ tablespoons,” and “cups.” Further benefits are the child’s use of motor skills and eye-hand coordination in dumping the ingredients into the mixing bowl. (Yes, I am a teacher!)
Safety is essential to the kid-friendliness of this recipe. In order to do this it uses a few more bowls or pots than the procedure adults would use to make cookies, BUT it eliminates the need for any child to be stirring a heated saucepan. Safety keeps the process fun and worry-free. If you can use non-breakable measures and utensils, that also is recommended.
- 2 and ½ cups of uncooked oatmeal
- ½ cup of soynut butter* or peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 4 Tablespoons of dry cocoa powder (the unsweetened, strong stuff)
- ½ cup of milk (whatever kind and fat percentage you like)
- 2 cups of white sugar
*soynut butter has a little less fat
You choose -
Utensils and Supplies:
- Measuring cups in one cup and one-half cup sizes
- Measuring spoons in one teaspoon and one Tablespoon sizes
- Large mixing bowl (about 12 inches diameter)
- Large stirring spoon (wooden or about 15 inches long)
- About 3 table knives and 2 soup spoons
- Waxed paper
Stove top and small saucepan
Microwave oven and 4-cup sized microwave safe bowl/Pyrex container
Once again, you choose -
All the pouring listed below can be done by a child.
Pour dry oatmeal into the big bowl. Add the nut butter to the bowl in little hunks. Then, use the table knives to stir, pound, slice, and mix the nut butter into the oatmeal. If you think these knives are not good for your child, go with large spoons. The result will be nut butter coarsely cut throughout the oats, but certainly not a totally uniform mixture.
If using stove top, the child can put the milk, sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract into the unheated saucepan over at the counter or the table. Stir well. Now the ADULT takes the saucepan to the stove top and brings it to a boil. While watching it and adjusting the heat level to prevent a “boiling over event,” boil for one minute. PLEASE stay by that pot!
If using microwave oven, the child can put the milk, sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract into the microwave-safe bowl. Stir well. Now the ADULT takes the bowl and places it in the microwave. Then WATCH CAREFULLY as you bring to a boil in microwave and boil for half a minute.
(CHOCOLATE MOUNT VESUVIUS can happen! It has happened to me when using a microwave.)
Under either heating method, the adult brings the melted cocoa mix to the large bowl and pours it into the bowl with the oatmeal ingredients.
The child and adult may take turns to stir it well. The heat of this liquid cocoa mix melts the nut butter and helps it spread throughout the batter.
Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. The cookies will cool at room temperature, however if you want to cool them faster because you JUST CAN’T WAIT TO TASTE THEM, you can put them in the refrigerator or freezer. To do this, use a cookie tray or other hard, flat dish under the waxed paper so that you can lift it and carry it without dropping all the cookies on the floor.
Enjoying food is one of the gifts of being alive. Maren has had many a special moment, not only in eating with friends and family, but especially in preparing foods with her sons which always included adding that special ingredient: love.
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© 2009 Maren Elizabeth Morgan